Business & Finance

Why Kenya’s MPESA leads the world in mobile money

The evolution of mobile money

Patrick Musyoka

June 9, 2021

2 min read

Africa has experienced a rapid proliferation of technology over the past decade. The continent's youthful population has increasingly become Tech-savvy, soaring to greater heights in the world of computer engineering. This trend is projected to continue as technological innovation is constantly evolving. One innovation that has disrupted the world as it pertains to mobile money transfer is Kenya's MPESA.

MPESA is a Swahili word literally translating to “M-Money.” It a mobile money service founded in 2007 by Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile network provider. MPESA is a true manifestation of Black Excellence, arguably being the world’s most developed mobile money service. In fact, it is easier and faster to pay for a cab in Nairobi than in Washington DC.

MPESA disrupted the world’s traditional banking system, making it extremely easy to send or receive money, and making payments via a mobile phone. The service has also tremendously transformed Kenyans' lives by tapping into the previously unbanked population and making it easy for SMEs to do business.

The MPESA is now making an impact in Africa and worldwide. Countries like Tanzania, Afghanistan, Lesotho, Ghana, India, Mozambique, and Egypt have adopted the MPESA model. Better still, apps such as Remitly, Sendwave, and Worldremit make it possible for African Diaspora to make remittances to their African families and friends easily via MPESA.

Here are reasons why Kenya’s MPESA leads the world in mobile money.

  • It is a 21st-century technology.

Kenya's MPESA is proof of Africa's descendants shining in technological innovation and changing the world's view on people of African heritage. It uses modern technology to solve real problems among our African community. Yes, Africans are not inferior, but solution providers creating the script for solving the world's problems.

  • Flexibility in making financial transactions

MPESA creates convenience and flexibility for Africans to send, receive, save, or raise funds anywhere, anytime. A woman in a remote village in Kenya does not need to close her grocery shop and walk miles away to access banking services. Instead, she can do it at the comfort of her mobile phone.

  • Taking advantage of the unbanked market

MPESA’s growth is mainly because of the solutions it provided for the previously unbanked population. The service has been able to reach historically marginalised communities that were bypassed by the traditional banking system. MPESA is based on texting technology, and it is easily accessible to anyone with a simple mobile phone.

Final Thought

If Kenya’s MPESA idea could create such a significant impact on African's socio-economic livelihood, what if we came together and reason as descendants of Africa? We have the talent and the potential we need as the African community to empower and elevate our people socioeconomically. If we bring this talent together by connecting our people through African social network, we can create a synergy of ideas and support each other to achieve Black excellence as one people. That is why WeAfric seeks to unite continental and historical Africans in one platform and foster meaningful discussions that lead to improved livelihood for our community. It is all about maximizing how we utilize our talents, time, and money. And if we come together, we can spend our money on Black-owned businesses and create a thriving community of melaninaires. I am because you are, and together we can.

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